Michael Cubos, founder of Cordova-based Performance 360, is working to bring jobs to the countryside. (Image from Cebu Daily News)
A homegrown business process outsourcing (BPO) firm projects to hire 10,000 workers across the Philippines within five years through a planned partnership with the national government.
Michael Cubos, founder of Cordova-based Performance 360, said he recently came to an informal agreement with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to help bring development and jobs to the countryside by setting up BPO services there.
“In three to five years, it is possible that we can hire at least 10,000 agents with this set up in the rural areas,” he said in an interview.
Cubos said that he spoke three weeks ago with Monchito Ibrahim, chief of regional operations and countryside development at DICT, where they came to the agreement.
For so long, Cubos said he thought he was the only one who thought of the initiative.
He said his company will be working with Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) Philippines, a start-up nurtured by the DICT which helps provide jobs in the countryside. Since the easiest way to bring jobs to rural areas was to promote online freelancing, Cubos said RIS helps train, find clients, and help people that do online work in the provinces. Under the initiative, local government units (LGUs) in partnership with private companies will provide co-working spaces which online freelancers living in rural areas can use. Cubos said that Performance 360, meanwhile, can use the co-working spaces as a call center servicing US-based clients at night.
Bogo City, for one, has expressed interest to establish a facility with Cubos’ company providing the manpower. Other areas in the Philippines seen to benefit from the program are Bohol, Bogo City in northern Cebu, Malaybalay City in Bukidnon, Argao town in southern Cebu, and Medina in Misamis Oriental. Through the project, the company will no longer spend that much on capital for expansion to the countryside since the LGUs will shoulder expenses for the facility.
50 workers per area
Under the planned formal agreements, the BPO company will train people in the community at least three times a month, but graduates will not be obliged to work for them. Cubos said they expect to hire at least 50 workers per area and will provide a profit-sharing scheme for LGUs, where they can get a portion of their investments back each year. He added that for each worker hired in the BPO industry, three more are hired indirectly. While this may be an ideal set-up, implementing it will be faced with delays since agreements between the LGUs and DICT still need to be ironed out. Cubos entered the outsourcing business in 2012 with an initial investment of P10,000 when he set up the 10-seater contact center in Consolacion town in northern Cebu.
Cubos admitted that because of this development, plans to offer a BPO franchising system to local investors has moved down on his list of priorities. In an earlier interview, Cubos said he was offering a franchisable business to encourage more local players to get into the outsourcing venture. There are already four interested franchisees, but he has to screen them first to know that they are people he can trust. Cubos entered the outsourcing business in 2012 with an initial investment of P10,000 when he set up the 10-seater contact center in Consolacion town in northern Cebu.
Performance 360 Solutions Inc. then opened in Davao in 2013, followed shortly by the 130-seater call center in Cordova.